Here’s what’s going on with the Washington Redskins and free agency, based on numerous talks with people involved and other reports:
The Redskins appear to have a deal in place with Chicago defensive lineman Stephen Paea, according to CSNChicago. I did talk to someone who raved about Paea and thinks it will be a good signing. It signaled more of a move to a one-gap system as well, based on Paea’s strengths. I’ll have more on him if/when he signs -- it sounds as if he’s been telling teammates he’ll sign with Washington (however, Eddie Royal once told people the same thing; he ended up in San Diego).
The Redskins do have other options at safety, including Kansas City’s Ron Parker, a former cornerback who filled in at strong safety for Eric Berry but has the speed and range to play deep. I would deem him a person of interest. The Redskins have not been in contact with safety Da'Norris Searcy. Another name to watch is Taylor Mays, who coach Jay Gruden knows from his time in Cincinnati. General manager Scot McCloughan would have scouted him before the 2010 draft (San Francisco selected Mays that spring, but McCloughan already had been fired). If they wanted to bring back Brandon Meriweather I’m sure they could. If they whiff again on their safety choices they might not have any other options.
Rahim Moore is another safety possibility, but I wonder if he’ll be priced out of the Redskins’ comfort zone. They did not want to spend much on a safety last offseason either. But you can’t keep patch-working that position year after year.
I know New York’s Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle played for current Redskins secondary coach Perry Fewell, but that might work against them in this case. I haven’t heard of any interest, but it doesn’t mean it doesn't exist.
Justin Forsett remains the name mentioned most for Washington at running back, according to the NFL Network. C.J. Spiller also is available, and the team has remained in contact with Roy Helu, but I always figured he was 50-50 at best to return. I don’t know if former Saints running back Pierre Thomas is an option; he’s 30 but would be a solid third-down back.
Yes, they’re still talking to linebacker Brian Orakpo. More than a few teams will be interested in him if he’s not re-signed. The Redskins did have interest in Pernell McPhee, who reportedly will sign with Chicago.
The Redskins have not been in contact with one of their free agents, receiver Leonard Hankerson. I know they feel he can still play, but durability has been an issue since he arrived in 2011.
The team has remained in contact with quarterback Colt McCoy. The level of interest? Not sure, but the fact that they’re still in touch means he could still return.
They’ve lost out on a few players already: Right tackles Derek Newton (re-signed with Houston) and Jermey Parnell (reportedly headed to Jacksonville). Another potential signee, guard Mike Iupati, reportedly will sign with Arizona.
Green Bay right tackle Bryan Bulaga remains unsigned, so that’s always a possibility, though I have not heard his name connected to the Redskins yet. That does not mean there haven’t been discussions. Bulaga's injury history lends questions to his market value. The Redskins have been better in recent years at setting a price cap and sticking to it and that’s what they’ve done thus far it seems. We’ll find out for sure starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday.